Final preparations are being put in place for the ninth annual Fayette Festival of the Arts coming up Saturday, Aug. 5, with a full schedule of performances and activities running from 9 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m.
The festival takes place in and around Howard County’s historic courthouse square in the heart of Fayette, in addition to two locations on the nearby Central Methodist University campus.
The event has become the premiere summer happening in Fayette and again will include a variety of live music performances from the Howard County Memorial Bandstand and the courthouse yard, in addition to the 18th annual Fayette Art Show which again will be displayed in two separate locations — inside the courthouse and in CMU’s Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art.
The annual Peacemakers Quilt Show, with an estimated 200 quilts on display, will run simultaneously in Linn Memorial Church on the CMU campus. Persons with limited walking abilities will have available shuttles to and from the courthouse and the campus.
Art show entrants will include those entering as adult professional, adult amateur, and youth (elementary, middle school, and high school). First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in six entry fields: painting (acrylic and oil), painting (watercolor or pastel), drawing, photography, sculpture, and varied media – plus special awards such as people’s choice. First place winners will receive cash prizes.
Youth works will be displayed exclusively inside the courthouse. Adult works, professional and amateur, will be shown in CMU’s Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art. Exhibits at both sites will be open for public viewing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Also at the festival will be food vendors of different varieties, plus beverages and ice cream served by local celebrities and government officials. Free water will be available. Displays and activities on the courthouse lawn and adjacent streets will include vintage vehicles, a Dutch Oven demonstration, historic tours, various craft displays; public safety displays, and a free bounce house for the kids. A local group known as P.A.W.S. (Pet Adoption Welfare Service) will set up on the courthouse lawn with adoptable pets in tow.
Except for refreshments and quilt show, all offerings are free. A record number of vendors is expected.
“The festival is designed to highlight awareness of Howard County’s rich historical heritage, in addition to showcasing this area’s contemporary culture and entertainment,” notes event general coordinator Jim Steele, retired publisher of the Fayette newspapers. “Most of those who will perform this year are professional musicians,” he notes.
Best known of the scheduled musical organizations is the Columbia Community Band which will play beginning at 11 a.m. The group has been a traditional favorite for many years dating back to predecessor event the Great Fayette Freeze Off.
Of special note is a group taking part for the first time and led by Central Methodist University President Roger Drake who, in an earlier lifetime, was an accomplished country music performer on keyboard and other instruments. He played with many of the nation’s foremost country artists from Nashville and elsewhere. Several of these musicians will travel to Fayette to perform with Drake from the festival bandstand. Dubbed “All the President’s Men,” the group is slated to play at 1 p.m.
Following Drake’s group at 2 p.m. will be a New Orleans-style jazz band known as Doc and Friends which has been a long-time festival favorite. It is directed by CMU’s retired Swinney Conservatory dean, Ron Shroyer who in past years had been part of a group known as the Storyville Stompers headed by the late Butch Antel.
The entire music and drama schedule includes: • Gospel & Patriotic Music – Faith Family Musicians (9:00 a.m.) • The Show-Me Brass Band (9:45 a.m.) • Just Friends jazz combo (10:15 a.m.) • Columbia Community Band (11:00 a.m.) • All the President’s Men – Roger Drake & Nashville musicians (1:00 p.m.) • Doc & Friends New Orleans Jazz (2:15 p.m.) • Miss Route 66 Jessica Harper sings – (3:10 p.m.) and • Fayette Area Community Theater cast perform songs from Godspell Jr.(3:30 p.m.).
Concluding the schedule will be the Morton Sisters Vocal Trio from Marshall (3:45 p.m.). First seen at the festival last year, the group was exceptionally well received; they performed a variety of genres and styles in three-part harmony taking listeners back to the sounds of Andrews, McGuire, and Lennon Sisters.
The annual cake contest and auction, a longtime part of the festival, will take place following the performance of the Columbia Community Band, with proceeds going 50-50 to the Fayette Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and to the festival for operational expenses. Cakes will be judged in both adult and youth categories, with first, second and third place prizes in each group. Mark Belcher will again serve as auctioneer.
The south side of the courthouse square will be reserved for a display of classic cars and trucks, fire engines and other emergency responder vehicles.
Also, CMU historian Robert Rackley will lead a 10:30 a.m. walking tour highlighting the historic university campus. And local artist Millie Haggard will do an interpretive presentation describing the Howard County history mural in the circuit courtroom (second floor) starting at 2:30 p.m.
The festival is sponsored by the Fayette Area Heritage Association (FAHA) with support from a number of other community organizations, businesses and individuals.
Festival coordinator Jim Steele will serve as master of ceremonies.
More information, along with entry forms for art contest and cake contest, available at www.fayettefestival.org.
The Peacemakers Quilting Group will celebrate the past in their annual quilt show by spotlighting older quilts as well as quilts made from reproduction fabrics and quilts which put a modern spin on the older patterns through the use of color and/or fabrics. Over 160 quilts will transform the sanctuary of Linn Memorial United Methodist Church on the campus of Central Methodist University from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 5.
“Thanks to our theme, ‘The Past Revisited,’ we have many entries this year which are family heirlooms, treasured by many generations,” Peacemaker Linda Lembke commented. Some of these entries are made from feed sacks or dress scraps pieced together to form familiar and some not-so-familiar patchwork blocks. Others feature hand-embroidered or hand-appliqued blocks and almost all are hand-quilted.”
“Not all the quilts in the show are old, however. Some were completed as recently as mid-July of this year,” Lembke continued. “We have a nice mix of new and old quilts and wall-hangings and some beautiful examples of free-motion and long-arm machine quilting. We will once again have a display of Quilts of Valor in the back of the church.”
The show will be held in conjunction with the Fayette Festival of the Arts. An entry fee of $5 for visitors 12 and older will be used to benefit the Fayette Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and the Peacemakers’ Quilt of Valor Project. There is no fee for exhibiting quilts in the show. For the past several years the Peacemakers have been able to give the Food Pantry a donation of $1500.
As in years past there will be a Market Place on the breezeway connecting the sanctuary and the Parrish House. Visitors to the Market Place will be able to purchase craft items, quilt fabric, quilt magazines and assorted other items. Proceeds from the Market Place will also go to the Food Pantry and the Quilts of Valor project.
The Peacemakers Quilting Group is a group of five women (Dorothy Jean Ayres, Lembke, Julie Menees, Jo Rohr and Connie Shay) who share a love of quilting and a desire to help the community. The Peacemakers have three main projects throughout the year – the Quilt Show, Peacemakers Quilt Camp and the Quilt of Valor project.
The quilt camp is designed to help non-quilters learn about the joy of quilting. A mentor and a novice are teamed together to create a project during the week-long experience. Through their Quilt of Valor project, the Peacemakers have presented 43 quilts to veterans from the Fayette area and plan to present two more at the Veteran’s Day assembly at the Fayette High School in November.